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This past weekend, I was only in Flushing long enough to see Nadal lose, Federer win and to eat flaming ouzo shrimp. But I got some tips on where to eat in the area from Tony Mantuano, chef-owner of Chicago’s prestigious Spiaggia (President Obama’s favorite restaurant), who was at the US Open presiding over the Wine Bar, where I had that killer shrimp. He stayed in downtown Flushing to be near the tennis center and discovered a couple great places. First and foremost, a very no-frills dumpling spot called White Bear (135-02 Roosevelt Ave. #5; 718-961-2322) that’s basically a few small tables, a few folding chairs, a woman making the dumplings and wontons and a man cooking them up. Mantuano recommends the #6: pork-filled wontons with pickled vegetables and chiles. “Every single person gets the #6,” Mantuano says. He also discovered a great food cart on the corner of Main Street and 41st, where a guy grills lamb skewers flavored with cumin and spicy chiles over live charcoal. “This guys knows how to grill,” says Mantuano. “They don’t all know how to grill.”
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